BANGKOK, March 3 (CNA) - Facebook has taken down 185 accounts and groups engaged in an information influencing operation in Thailand run by the military, the company said on Wednesday (Mar 3), the first time it has taken down Thai accounts with ties to the government.
The Thailand-based network removed in the latest sweep of "coordinated inauthentic behaviour" on the platform included 77 accounts, 72 pages and 18 groups on Facebook and 18 accounts on Instagram, Facebook said.
The company said the accounts were linked to the Thai military and targeted audiences in the southern provinces of Thailand, where conflict has flared on and off for decades as insurgent groups continue a guerrilla war to demand independence.
Thailand's military spokesperson could not immediately be reached for comment.
About 7,000 people have been killed during the past 15 years as a result of the insurgency in the Malay-speaking, largely Muslim southern region of predominantly Buddhist Thailand.
"This is the first time that we've attributed one of our takedowns to links to the Thai military," Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook's Head of Cybersecurity Policy, told Reuters in a briefing.
"We found clear links between this operation and the Thai military's Internal Security Operations Command. We can see that all of these accounts and groups are tied together as part of this operation."
The network, mainly active in 2020, used both fake accounts and authentic ones to manage groups and pages, including overt military pages and those that did not disclose their affiliations with the military, Gleicher said.